NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Get ready for a new sight on New York City streets: the “Taxi of Tomorrow” is being developed by Nissan.
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Mayor Michael Bloomberg revealed the winner of New York City’s “Taxi of Tomorrow” competition Tuesday. The Nissan NV200 taxis will hit the street by 2013.
The Nissan NV200 taxi boasts a number of unprecedented features: there will be airbags for passengers, a GPS system, USB charging ports, separate climate controls, sliding doors with exterior lights on both sides and a see-through roof.
The cab will get approximately 25 miles per gallon, nearly double what the Crown Victoria gets.
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Nissan will crash-test the vehicle with the partition in it, a first for the city.
“It’s going to be the safest and most convenient cab the city has ever had,” Bloomberg said. “They will be custom designed to meet the specific demands of carrying 600,000 passengers a day in New York City traffic.”
Bloomberg said Nissan’s cab was developed in particular for the peculiarities of New York City cab service. The mayor had previously asked for the public’s help in selecting the next cab.
Ford and Karsan, a Turkish company, submitted entries into the competition, but were nixed. Karsan even pledged to build their cars in Brooklyn. Bloomberg said the process was fair and open to everyone, and dismissed any talk of alleged conflicts of interests.
The existing fleet of cabs will be off the roads by 2018. All New York City cabs will be the Nissan NV200 by the end of the decade.
David Yassky, the Taxi and Limousine Commissioner, said he believes the Nissan NV200 will finally pick up the mantle of the beloved Checker cab of yesteryear.
The contract between Nissan and the city will last for 10 years and is expected to be worth $1 billion in sales for Nissan, according to Yassky. The sticker price of the cab is about $29,000 for the first model year, Yassky said. The total cost of ownership will be far less than a Crown Victoria, because it will consume less gas.
Bloomberg said that even though a foreign maker won the contract, even Ford wasn’t going to construct their cab in the U.S.A. Bloomberg said Ford wanted to build their fleet in Turkey.
You can check out a video review of the Nissan NV200, which is already available overseas, here.